Sleepless nights? You are not alone. In 2017 the then Australian cricket captain Steve Smith famously sought sleep wisdom from the Dalai Lama while on tour in India.
Two centuries in four days this week has kept Smith awake for totally different reasons. One wonders how much sleep was lost in the sandpaper saga. Taking the rough with the smooth, sleep wise, is all very well in theory…
“It took me a while to get to sleep last night,” he said to Channel Nine News the morning after his impressive Day 1 performance.
“I was a bit emotional and pretty pumped up after what was a pretty special day.
“I woke up nice and fresh this morning ready to go and hopefully we can take a few early wickets and put a bit of pressure on England.”
Athletes eat, sleep and breathe their sport. Eating, breathing and sleeping are equal ingredients to success.
Sleep is a crucial pillar in elite athlete preparation in that it sets the mind and body up for optimal functioning and is also instrumental to athlete recovery. Physical activity puts stress on your body, particularly on the muscles and the nervous system.
When you sleep, your brain consolidates the previous day’s experiences, primes the memory and sharpens focus so that athletes are prepped and ready for elite competition. Sleep also triggers the body’s hormones regulating energy, reaction time and mental acuity. Muscle repair and rebuilding also occur when you sleep, so athletes need a proper sleep.
The Sleep Health Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best but athletes often need more. Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer gets around 10 to 12 hours each night. Athlete’s reaction times can deteriorate terribly when they’re sleep deprived and this could be easily the difference between winning and losing.
Research tell us that sleep plays critical role in supporting;
- Sharper focus and reaction times.
- Enhanced problem-solving ability and motivation.
- Increased ability to stay calm and make sound decisions under pressure.
- Enhanced muscle recovery and repair.
- Increased mental agility and ability to multi-task.
- Reduced risk of injury and illness.
Sleep on it. By making sleep a priority, you will be setting yourself up for success in whatever you choose to take on. Sport or life.
August 5-11 is Sleep Awareness Week. Don’t sleep through it! Get in touch and find out how Sleepfit can improve your company’s health and performance.
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